What To Do When Your Video Shoot Doesn’t Go As Planned

You envisioned the perfect video in your head, but the day of the shoot, it seems like nothing is going according to your plan. You might be worried about wasting time and resources or falling behind on your upload schedule. Creators like you invest a ton of time and effort into their videos, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. However, there are ways to transform a failed video shoot into something viewers will still love.

Here’s what to do when your video shoot doesn’t go as planned.

Use the footage to help your viewers troubleshoot.

When your DIY doesn’t come together, your cake tastes bad, or you can’t seem to pass the next level of your game, don’t give up and scrap the video. Instead, try again, but don’t delete the footage of your failed attempts. Rather, use it in your video to help your viewers troubleshoot similar issues as they follow along. Walk them through what went wrong and what you did to fix it.

For example, creator Joanna Zhou, who’s behind the DIY channels Maqaroon and Cute Life Hacks, reverse engineers a lot of viral DIYs and designs even more original craft projects of her own. In every video, she shows her viewers every failed attempt and explains how it brought her closer to the final project. She also gives her audience examples of what not to do if they recreate her projects themselves.

Spin it as a funny fail.

What sets a lot of YouTubers apart from traditional celebrities is relatability. Your audience sees you as a friend more than a movie star. They like you for who you are, not the characters you play. Therefore, an onscreen failure isn’t going to tank your career the way a poorly reviewed performance can harm an actor’s. However, you can get more entertainment value out of such a situation by spinning it as comedy.

Clare Siobhan is a professional gamer known for her Sims 4 challenges and Let’s Plays. Not every video turns out the way she plans, however. Even though she’s a seasoned expert, she couldn’t pass the ten minute build challenge. Rather than get angry with herself or decide not to upload the video, she repackaged it as a funny fail.

Work it into a narrative.

Finally, when your video shoot doesn’t go as planned, you can use it to create a narrative. Compare your pre-thoughts with what actually happened. You can use a voice over to guide viewers along. You might even let your initial failure reshape the course of the video, transforming it into a comeback story or proof that perseverance pays off.

The narrative you create might even spark a whole new series. For example, when the Try Guys did their first pie episode of “Without A Recipe,” none of them did very well. However, they later decided to start a new series called “Retry,” and in the first episode, they took another shot at baking pies with no instructions to follow.

When your video shoot doesn’t go as planned, you don’t have to give up and start completely over. Instead, you can use that footage to create troubleshooting tips, a funny fail video, or a comeback narrative.

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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.

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